Wayne June narrates the awesomest ad ever

March 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

SFFaudio News

I want Wayne June to narrate all my tweets. And I want to go to Pittsburgh too.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb Of Horrors by Gary Gygax [ACTUAL PLAY PODCAST]

March 21, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

You are a former player of pen and paper (and dice) role playing games.

You feel bummed out that you don’t (or can’t) play anymore (or as much as you’d like).

You have heard of “actual play podcasts*” but you haven’t listened to one before. And there has always been one module, in your collection, that you never got the chance to play, but always wanted to:

Tomb Of Horrors is considered one of the greatest Dungeons & Dragons modules of all time, as well as one of the most difficult.

The mound of the grinning skull awaits.

The Mound Of The Grinning Skull

Dare you listen?

Dungeon Module S1 - Tomb Of Horrors by Gary GygaxAD&D Dungeon Module S1 – Tomb Of Horrors
By Gary Gygax; Dungeon Mastered by Monty Martin
13 MP3 Files – Approx. 29 Hours 39 Minutes [ACTUAL PLAY]
Podcaster: The Shattered Sea
Podcast: October – December 2010
In the far reaches of the world, under a lost and lonely hill, lies the sinister TOMB OF HORRORS. This labyrinthine crypt is filled with terrible traps, strange and ferocious monsters, rich and magical treasures, and somewhere within rests the evil Demi-Lich.

Introduction |MP3|
Session 1 Part 1 |MP3|
Session 1 Part 2 |MP3|
Session 2 Part 1 |MP3|
Session 2 Part 2 |MP3|
Session 2 Part 3 |MP3|
Session 3 Part 1 |MP3|
Session 3 Part 2 |MP3|
Session 4 Part 1 |MP3|
Session 4 Part 2 |MP3|
Session 5 Part 1 |MP3|
Session 6 Part 1 |MP3|
Session 6 Part 2 |MP3|

|PDF|

Tomb Of Horrors

*An “actual play podcast” is a recording of a role playing game session played either at a table or over the internet, most often audio only, featuring multiple players and Dungeon Master (or Game Master, Keeper etc.).

[Thanks to John ONeill at Black Gate for the reminder]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Sinner by Mark Teppo

March 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Sinner by Mark TeppoSinner: A Prequel to the Mongoliad
By Mark Teppo; Read by Luke Daniels
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (separate or included in deluxe edition of The Mongoliad: Book One)
2 hours [UNABRIDGED]

Themes: / witchcraft / mongoliad /

Publisher Summary:

A severed head and a cry of “Witchcraft!” start a frenzied witch hunt in a sleepy German village. When Konrad von Marburg, a Church inquisitor, arrives on the scene, innocent and guilty alike find themselves subject to the inquisitor’s violent form of purification. Two knights of the Ordo Militum Vindicis Intactae, Andreas and Raphael, soon arrive in the village. Though each journeys on a separate path, they quickly band together to confront the inquisitor as he whips the townspeople into a righteous bloodlust. When her dead husband’s severed head appears on her doorstep, a local woman is charged with practicing heretical rituals. It is up to the knights to discover the truth behind the brutal murder before the torches are lit and the woman is burned at the stake. Their task proves daunting, though, as the townspeople have their own long-buried secrets and sins that they want to keep hidden — even if it means allowing the sacrifice of an innocent woman. With Sinner: A Prequel to the Mongoliad, Mark Teppo forges the first link in a chain that leads to the world-shattering events of the Mongoliad series.

I got this book as a part of my copy of the audiobook of  The Mongoliad: Book One. I haven’t yet read The Mongoliad: Book One; I decided that I wanted to read the prequel first. I have one or two other prequel stories, which I think I’ll wait to read until after I’ve read The Mongoliad: Book One and The Mongoliad: Book Two and possibly The Mongoliad: Book Three. The reason I read this one before the others was that I happened to have it on my iPhone in that order. I don’t think anything was lost by reading it before the main books…I just want to see what the main books offer before going into the shorter-story prequels.

The story itself introduced two characters who I believe play a role in The Mongoliad: Book One, Raphael and Andreas, two knights who meet by happenstance in a small town at a time when the town has suffered a tragedy. Otto, the husband of Goetta, was murdered, and Goetta stands accused for the crime. To make matters worse, an Inquisitor of the Roman Catholic Church is also passing through the town and he decides to personally adjudicate the matter. Raphael is an older knight, mostly wiser, and has a history with this Inquisitor. Andreas is younger, brasher, quicker to jump in…and that’s where I’ll leave the description, without spoiling anything.

The story was light and I’m guessing sets the stage for events in The Mongoliad: Book One. I suspect readers will learn more about the Inquisitor (named Conrad) in that book, and of course about Raphael and Andreas. One hopes that Raphael will be able to teach young Andreas a bit of his worldly wisdom. And I expect that Andreas will be able to help Raphael recover…or possibly seek revenge, from issues in his past. The story here really set up these characters, wrapped around an otherwise predictable plot.

There’s nothing wrong with predictability, especially when interesting and intriguing characters are introduced. It’s even better when the story isn’t drawn out; it didn’t need to be any longer. This story whet my appetite for the main tome and now I’d like to see what else is in store for these guys.

Luke Daniels is a prolific audiobook narrator, with good reason. His narration for this story, as with so many of the stories he’s done, is spot-on. He adds life to the characters without distracting from the story. If I had one minor complaint, it’s that it was sometimes hard to understand what he was saying when he was using Raphael’s voice. He played the character with a heavy accent, which was sometimes hard to hear while driving down the road. The best way to listen to this type of book is to lay back and relax, put the earbuds in, and just listen. Daniels will take you to another place entirely…in this case, 13th century Europe. I’m looking forward to my next trip there with him in The Mongoliad: Book One.

Review by terpkristin.

LibriVox: Herbert West – Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft

March 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

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Herbert West - Reanimator

H.P. Lovecraft’s not well known for his sense of humor, but he had one,as evidenced by this six-part 1922 serial (available in two parts below). It’s a novelette, featuring the titular character and his attempts to reverse the effects of death. The results of which are inevitably, and hilariously, recurrent.

LibriVoxHerbert West – Reanimator
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by: Matt Bohnhoff
2 MP3s – Approx. 80 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: October 17, 2008
Convinced that death is merely mechanical failure, and that they can find a chemical mechanism to reboot the machine, West and our nameless narrator, are on the hunt for bodies–the fresher, the better. Through graveyards and laboratories, they want to find death, chase it, trap it, prod it, and defeat it. But when you chase something to within arm’s reach, it can reach back… First published, serially, in six issues of Home Brew, February-July 1922.

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Gunslinger by Stephen King

March 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews, Uncategorized 

SFFaudio Review

*Introducing one of our new reviewers – Rob Z. While he waits for his first audiobooks to review for SFF Audio, we thought we’d tide you over with one of his favorite audiobook reviews.*

The Gunslinger by Stephen KingThe Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) – revised and expanded ed.
By Stephen King; Read by George Guidall
Publisher: Penguin Audio, now available on Audible
Publication Date: 6 October 2003
7 hours, 24 minutes [UNABRIDGED]

Themes: / fantasy / parallel worlds /

Publisher summary:

Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea in the first volume of The Dark Tower series. Roland, the last gunslinger, is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange single-mindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape of good and evil. The people he encounters are left behind, or worse, left dead. At a way station, however, he meets Jake, a boy from a particular time (1977) and a particular place (New York City), and soon the two are joined, khef, ka, and ka-tet. The mountains lie before them. So does the man in black and, somewhere far beyond…the Dark Tower.

The start of an epic journey. Or is it? The start I mean.

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

Why? To what purpose? How long has he been chasing him? Ah my friends, these are but a few of many questions.

The journey is the key, and here we throw our lot in with the Gunslinger as he speeds towards his goal. Will we ever reach it? One must continue the journey with Roland to find out. And so I have. Again.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read this book. It’s probably my least favorite in the series, and yet it contains some of my favorite moments.

The glimpses into Roland’s childhood that are a large part of what makes Wizard and Glass one of my absolute favorite books are present in this book with much smaller doses. The story of Roland’s coming of age in particular is one I could listen to again and again (and so I have, say thankee-sai).

Another particular favorite of mine is Tull. It gives us a glimpse, and it just a glimpse of who the Gunslinger really is.  It is here that Mr. King makes a revision in a scene I’m not sure I agree with.  It’s not a “Han Shot First” re-write for me, but one I felt un-necessary that tries to offer some forgiveness for Roland’s actions.

That said. I love this book. The original book is actually a collection of  5 stories that were published in a magazine over the span of about 3 years. Mr. King revised the book in 2003.

For the most part, the revisions help to fill out the story and clear up some continuity issues that Mr. King hadn’t worked out when he first wrote them. You could maybe call it ret-con, but I really consider it more of clarification of detail that was lacking.

I’ve always wondered why so many people don’t like this book. My friend listened to it with his brother. He almost quit the series right there. His brother did. I’ve seen many people recommend skipping this book outright and coming back to it at the end. I suppose that would work, but the need for it is beyond my comprehension.

I thought maybe this re-read many years since my last around the time of the final 3 books release in the mid 2000s would shed some light on it. It did not.

Maybe it’s a sense of nostalgia. Maybe because I first read this book before many of the long sprawling epics I’ve tackled since. But their are certainly other books I enjoyed as a younger man that I no longer enjoy as an adult.

This book isn’t one of those. To me it offers you a glimpse and a promise of all that is to come. For that I must again say Thankee-sai to Mr. King.

I listened to the audible version of the revised edition of this book. The reader is George Guidall.

He was enjoyable enough, and his voice seems suited to the tale. I opted to do an audio-book re-‘read’ of the series as my friend has been experiencing it for the first time and I find my memory of it lacking.

One of the things lost by doing the audio however is the artwork. I have 1-4 in trade paperback by Plume (with both the original text and updated version that this audiobook contains) and the original hard cover releases of 5-7. The Plume editions contain some, but not all of the artwork contained in the original hard cover releases.

Some may not welcome the art, as they prefer to let their own imaginations paint the pictures, but I’ve always been lacking in visual imagination so I welcome the inspiration to help my brain fill in the rest. I plan to make it a point to re-visit the art at some point as my re-read continues.

Review by Rob Zak.

Commentary: Annotating Ward Shelley’s A History Of Science Fiction

March 20, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

I love looking at Ward Shelley’s The History Of Science Fiction. It really inspires me.

I’ve, for my own amusement, done a little annotating, adding little thumbtacks noting every podcast READALONG we’ve done. But I’ve only put on the ones that are explicitly named on the chart. So, for example, even though we’ve talked about Tarzan Of The Apes I haven’t noted it because the chart only lists “Tarzan.” Similarly, we’ve done a podcast about A Princess Of Mars but as the chart only reads “John Carter” I haven’t made a notation.

But still and all, I find it fun to look at. And looking at it, it makes me want to add more!

You can click through to see more detail.

SFFaudio Podcast Episodes Noted

Posted by Jesse Willis

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